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Research Article

Complete Primate Skeleton from the Middle Eocene of Messel in Germany: Morphology and Paleobiology

  • Jens L. Franzen,

    Affiliations: Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg, Frankfurt, Germany, Naturhistorisches Museum Basel, Basel, Switzerland

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  • Philip D. Gingerich,

    Affiliation: Museum of Paleontology and Department of Geological Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States of America

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  • Jörg Habersetzer,

    Affiliation: Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg, Frankfurt, Germany

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  • Jørn H. Hurum mail,

    j.h.hurum@nhm.uio.no

    Affiliation: Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway

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  • Wighart von Koenigswald,

    Affiliation: Steinmann-Institut für Geologie, Mineralogie und Paläontologie, Universität Bonn, Bonn, Germany

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  • B. Holly Smith

    Affiliation: Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States of America

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  • Published: May 19, 2009
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0005723
  • Published in PLOS ONE

Reader Comments (13)

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Any DNA trace ?

Posted by rpmdias on 20 May 2009 at 12:26 GMT

Congratulations for your research.
Have you searched or found any trace of DNA or RNA from the specimen?
If so, there is any attempt for the reconstrution of phylogentic data?

No competing interests declared.

RE: Any DNA trace ?

ErikiLund replied to rpmdias on 20 May 2009 at 19:36 GMT

Rpmdias:

Although I am not one of the authors, I think I should respond to your question anyway, from the perspective of a biologist: it is VERY unlikely, some would say even impossible, that there would be any traces of DNA or RNA on a 47 million year old fossil of this kind. The oldest ancient DNA that has been recovered (I think) are from neanderthal fossils, which are at most a few hundred thousand years old. Even then, it is mainly mitochondrial (mtDNA), rather than nuclear DNA, that has been preserved for that long time. Nucleic acids like DNA and RNA do simply not have that long life-spans of several million years, in spite of phantasy stories like "Jurrassic Park".

No competing interests declared.

RE: RE: Any DNA trace ?

BramSnijders replied to ErikiLund on 29 May 2009 at 07:38 GMT

Is there anything that can be done with Keratin mass spectrometry? This has been done for T-rex and gave phylogenetic information

thanks

No competing interests declared.